Ester Vonplon (CH, 1980)
The work of Ester Vonplon is endlessly fascinating in its enigmatic nature; the viewer can’t place when, where or even how the image has been made. Vonplon’s melancholic images of nature convey an almost primal and threatening quality that the natural world can have, focusing on inhospitable places like the gletschers in Switzerland or the Antarctic. Vonplon approaches photography wholly intuitively and experiments with techniques to best convey her story.
Vonplon traveled to Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean in summer 2016 for the last part of a trilogy which is about the concept of white, snow and ice. She sailed the ice-clogged seas of the Arctic Ocean on a three-masted sailing vessel, to capture the impressions of the calving glaciers and melting ice. They remind of the symbol of Vanitas. The composition consists of Wie viel Zeit bleibt der Endlichkeit (How Much Time Remains of Finitude), Wohin geht all das Weiss, Wenn der Schnee schmilzt (Where All The White Goes When The Snow Melts) and the installation Gletscherfahrt (Glacial Movement), which developed out of her collaboration with the musician Stephan Eicher, 2013-2016. Ester Vonplon captures a vanishing world in her photographs. They reveal as a desperate attempt to counteract the effects of climate change. She considers her trilogy a requiem.